There is a better way to ensure all students have a fair shot at third level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“There is no other country in the world where the final exam at second level dominates public discourse as much as in Ireland. Newspapers analyse why a certain poet did or did not appear on a particular paper while talk radio can guarantee to get listeners going by mentioning any possible changes …” (more)

[Malcolm Byrne, Irish Times, 23 June]

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Wealthy students and high-points courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – That students from affluent backgrounds are more likely to study ‘high points’ courses should come as little surprise to anybody (News, October 21st). However, the findings of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) report make clear the need for significant additional, targeted investment across all levels of education to afford students an equal opportunity to fulfil their own potential, irrespective of their postal address …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 24 October]

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New Report to Highlight Dramatic Inequalities in Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 10th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThe Irish Independent reports that the review – described as the most detailed research ever on higher education – focuses on the impact of socioeconomic background on access to higher education, as well as Central Applications Office (CAO) points …” (more)

[Malachi Ó Marcaigh, University Times, 9 September]

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67% of DEIS students want to go to college but lack confidence in ability to do so

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Two-thirds of children from DEIS schools want to go to college, but many lack confidence in their ability do so, according to new research. A study carried out by academics involving secondary school students and parents also found that social factors were also an obstacle in some cases to moving into higher education – including a fear that they would not fit in …” (more)

[Noel Baker,, 19 August]

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Call for students in disadvantaged schools to get extra CAO points

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students from disadvantaged schools should receive extra CAO points in recognition of the barriers they face, the president of a school management body has suggested. Paul Fiorentini, president of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, said more work is needed to ensure greater equality of access to higher education …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 March]

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We must invest in education with a focus on equity of outcome

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on February 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The educational achievement of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds remains alarmingly below that of better-off pupils, calling for an ongoing policy response involving early education and other vital supports. The advantages of a complete and meaningful education, particularly a third-level qualification, follows a person throughout their life …” (more)

[Michelle Murphy, Irish Times, 22 February]

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Disadvantaged students need much better access to third level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“In a recent High Court decision, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys vindicated a citizen’s right to access higher education and vocational training. It is both surprising and disappointing that the Minister for Education and Skills has decided to appeal this decision and is to argue that no individual has a right to access to higher education …” (more)

[Judith Harford and Brian Fleming, Irish Times, 14 February]

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Class and education in Ireland: ‘Disadvantaged students cannot thrive’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Despite official efforts at combating disadvantage in Irish schools, a huge class chasm remains. While middle-class girls thrive, working-class boys struggle. We recently invited readers to give their perspectives on this issue. Here is a selection of your responses …” (more)

[Irish Times, 9 February]

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Gaps remain in educational outcomes of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, study finds

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Significant gaps remain between educational outcomes of students in disadvantaged second-level schools and others despite the success of targeted Government investment. A new analysis of the impact of the Department of Education’s DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) programme shows that low family income has become more of a factor in a student’s achievement rather than reducing in significance …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 7 January]

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Poorer students can outperform others through college foundation courses

Posted in Teaching on December 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Students from disadvantaged backgrounds who get into to university through special access routes can outperform regular students when they have on-campus foundation courses, new research shows. A study by Dr Katriona O’Sullivan of Maynooth University indicates that special-access students do better socially and academically when they have these supports in a university setting …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 December]

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Disadvantaged students twice as likely to drop out after first year of college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 18th, 2018 by steve

“Almost one in five students from disadvantaged schools do not progress to third-level education beyond their first year, compared to just one in 10 students who went to fee-paying schools, a new study by the Higher Education Authority reveals. Some 19% of students from Deis – Delivering Equality of Opportunity – schools, and 14% of students attending standard schools do not return for a variety of reasons after the first year, according to a statistical analysis of new third-level entrants in the 2014/2015 academic year …” (more)

[Allison Bray and Fiona Dillon, Independent, 18 May]

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HEA Chief Executive Says Colleges Need to Keep Focus on Targeting Disadvantage

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority, Dr Graham Love, has stated that higher education institutions need to continue to be active both in engaging with disadvantaged communities and in attracting students from disadvantaged backgrounds …” (more)

[Malcolm Byrne, Higher Education Authority, 20 November]

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New figures expose class divide in higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Up to three-quarters of students in some of the State’s colleges are reliant on grant support, according to new figures that highlight the scale of the class divide in Irish higher education. School-leavers from more affluent backgrounds are much more likely to have places in universities offering high-points degrees …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 February]

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Social divide shows up in grants across higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“For students whose family income falls below a certain limit, the State helps them attend further and higher education through financial supports. But the distribution of these financial supports among institutions is very revealing …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 7 February]

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Proportion of Disadvantaged Entrants to Trinity Largely Unchanged Over the Last Five Years

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The proportion of students entering Trinity from the lowest socioeconomic groups has remained unchanged since 2011, a new report has found, despite significant efforts by College to improve access in recent years …” (more)

[Niamh Egleston, University Times, 27 November]

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Education action plan aims at radical improvements

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A plan to make improvements in the education system and counter the effects of disadvantage will be launched today by Minister for Education Richard Bruton. The aim of the Action Plan for Education is to make the Irish education and training system the best in Europe by 2026 …” (more)

[Stephen Collins, Irish Times, 15 September]

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Access to Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 10th, 2016 by steve

IrelandCarol Nolan (Offaly, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the schemes he is running to promote access to third level education by lower socioeconomic groups, disabled students and mature students; the funding his Department has allocated to each in each of the years 2011 to 2016 to date; if any of the schemes are on a statutory footing or if they are initiatives by a body or institution of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 8 June]

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Proximity to college raises chances of disadvantaged going

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 25th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students in relatively disadvantaged areas of the capital are more likely to go on to third-level if they live close to a college, new figures suggest. A breakdown of student grant data shows higher participation rates in the Blanchardstown and Tallaght areas, which have institutes of technology …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 April]

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Access to third-level education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – You report that the Higher Education Authority (HEA) aims to ‘narrow the participation gap’ at third level by increasing the number of students from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds using bafflingly worded strategies such as ‘mainstreaming the delivery of equity of access’ …” (more)

[Gareth Keeley, Irish Times, 14 April]

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Tánaiste and Minister O’Sullivan launch new National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 16th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The National Access Plan for 2015-19 contains 5 key goals and more than 30 actions that are intended to assist under-represented groups to participate in third level education. It contains a number of targets for specific categories of students, including ‘disadvantaged’ students, students with disabilities, mature students, and members of the Travelling community …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 16 December]

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